Electoral Commission welcomes proposed amendments of the House of Assembly (Elections) Act and the Registration of Electors Act

Roseau, Dominica – September 7, 2018 – The Electoral Commission welcomes the announcement of Government’s intention to very shortly table before Parliament, revised versions of the proposed amendments of the House of Assembly (Elections) Act and the Registration of Electors Act.

The proposed amendments will allow for the introduction of the National Identification Card, which will be issued to new electors, as well as to those registered electors whose eligibility to remain on the registers have been confirmed.

For almost 30 years, successive Electoral Commissions and Chief Elections Officers have urged the introduction of identification cards, as a means of authenticating the identity of voters. Over the past two years, approximately EC$3.2 million dollars have been spent by the State, to allow the Commission to undertake the design and development of a National Identity System, which would allow for the modernisation of the electoral process.

The Commission already has in place, all of the physical infrastructure required for the enrolment of electors and issuance of National Identification cards. This infrastructure also includes hand-held devices which would be available in each polling station and have the capacity to match the biometric data captured on enrolment, with the elector bearing the card.

The Commission now awaits the passage of the legislation, to enable the selection, appointment and training of enrolment and verification officers, as well as undertake a comprehensive voter education campaign to inform all stakeholders on the new procedures.

Prior to Government’s recent announcements, the Commission, being concerned by the delay in the passage of the legislative amendments, indicated its intention to undertake a voter verification exercise, in an effort at improving the accuracy of the registers of electors. The Commission has always been of the view that the confirmation process provided for by the amending legislation would be the more effective means of achieving this objective. Passage of these amendments, therefore, would render the proposed verification exercise unnecessary.

It is important at this stage, to note certain aspects of the proposed amendments:

– That the Identification Card system, enrolment and confirmation process, will be entirely under the control of the Electoral Commission and the Chief Elections Officer;

– It is the Commission which will declare the confirmation period and any extensions thereto;

– The Commission will select and appoint the Enrolment and Verification Officers and the Electoral Office will be responsible for their training;

– The Commission will determine the location and facilities for establishment of Enrolment Centres both locally and overseas and the schedule of enrolment and confirmation;

– The eligibility requirements for the registration of new voters shall remain unchanged. Therefore only persons who are citizens of the Commonwealth of Dominica, or citizens of a Commonwealth country who have resided in Dominica for at least 12 months prior to registration and who are 18 years or older and who have resided in a polling district for a continuous period of at least 3 months, are qualified to vote in elections in Dominica. Therefore, absolutely no registration of new electors will take place outside of Dominica and neither will any person, whether a citizen of Dominica or of the Commonwealth, be eligible for registration if he does not satisfy the requisite qualifying period;

The public is reminded that notwithstanding the proposed amendments, it has always been and remains the law, that any person who alleges that a registered elector is not entitled to remain on the register, may file a formal objection in Form 4 of the Regulations, with the Registering Officer for his polling district. The law establishes a due process mechanism for reviewing and determining such objections.

The Electoral Commission is satisfied that the proposed amendments are in the best interest of the democratic process in Dominica and urges all stakeholders, to give effective support to the speedy passage and implementation.

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8 Comments

  1. kean Blackmore
    September 10, 2018

    “The eligibility requirements for the registration of new voters shall remain unchanged. ”

    Since the eligibility requirements are unchanged, then anyone in the Diaspora that qualifies to vote base on the constitution, and requires confirmation , (which is not being amended) will be back in Dominica sometime within now and elections. Therefore there is absolutely no reason for this initiative. Plus Dominicans don’t only reside in NYC or Miami or London or Toronto or LA.
    We are in remote cities in China, other asian countries, Africa, Europe, south and central America. There is no way this initiative can accommodate us all and therefore will disproportionately omit many who reside outside these major cities.
    Hence, its a waste of money and an a clear attempt to manipulate the voters list and constituencies in which persons are registered.
    Good leaders listen with empathy and maintain their integrity. Unfortunately integrity does not exist in leadership in Da.

  2. Original
    September 10, 2018

    If the qualifying conditions remain unchanged, then why must there be a need for overseas registration? When it is clearly stated that a time period in Dominica is necessary as a voter! So issuing someone who does not meet the requirements to be registered as a voter a voter ID card, is or should be illegal. Hence no need to have overseas registration offices.

  3. KID ON THE BLOCK
    September 9, 2018

    Yes Skerrit must go. Skeerit must go on to keep those inept lazy useless Opposition power hungry traitors out of government.

  4. %
    September 7, 2018

    Is the Electoral Commission ar arm of the DLP? I don’t think that their behaviour reflect that this body is independent.What about the verification exercise which was supposed to begin on July 1st? Why have you all gone Moo Moo about it? Why are you all so insultive cthat you all have not apologize d to we the public?Were you all instructed by any crooked lawyer or crooked politician? I honestly don’t believe that you all are serving Dominicans,you all are doing the biddings of a political party.
    What a Shame.
    Skerrit Must Go
    Skerrit Must Go
    Lazy Skerrit Must Go Now

  5. Dr Clayton Shillingford
    September 7, 2018

    I voted yesterday in local Delaware elections..My name was on the list I presented my identification… passport and proceeded to vote for my candidates in the democratic party..I do not vote for the Republican Party It was over in five minutes

    The logic for the Dominican situation..cut all that talk wasted time.. ACTIONS necessary
    Opposition and civil society to review in formal way all constituency lists and ascertain dead persons, and any persons NOT eligible to vote in local elections.. Voters to present their identity at polls..after the bloated lists have been cleaned up This attempt by the DLP Government to go into the Dominica Diaspora to select vulnerable persons to go on the already bloated lists should not be allowed..

  6. LifeandDeath
    September 7, 2018

    All our institutions falling to joke under the Current DLP regime..Why all the hoops? Why is the Government so petrified of creating Voter ID cards?..Nothing but corruption and shady dealings..

    SHAME SHAME SHAME, Men with small minds keeping the country behind for their own personal selfish gains.

    • Silver fox
      September 7, 2018

      LifeandDeath, It’s because people like you to stupid to see the insight of it all, and it’s Linton who is running away from it all and pretending it is labour party fault.

      • %
        September 7, 2018

        Patriot Linton and all lovers of our Democracy want true reform,not reform through any back door intended to steal,because the Commonwealth Observer Team told us 2014 election was unfair….. Nice words?This means that it was stolen. So honest Dominicans can’t trust your party (DLP). It’s a party of trickery,deceipt,deception,chicanery, shenanigans,and you are stridently trying to defend their skulduggery. Patriot Linton knows that and thousands of other Dominicans.That’s why we want true reform,and not back door reform.
        Skerrit Must Go
        Skerrit Must Go
        LAZY Skerrit Must Go Now

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